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Top 10 Female Jazz Instrumentalists

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Friday October 16, 2015

From The Culture Trip

The Top 10 Female Jazz Musicians You Should Know
By: Helen Armitage

Though all too often confined to the role of chanteuse, over the past 100 years, many female jazz instrumentalists have made noteworthy contributions to the genre through their commitment to musicianship. We line up ten of the best, from early pioneers like American pianist Mary Lou Williams, to contemporary talents like Chilean saxophonist Melissa Aldana.

Kudos to two IMN artists on the list!

Terri Lyne Carrington
Widely hailed in jazz circles as one of the best contemporary jazz drummers around today, Terri Lyne Carrington has had an illustrious music career spanning some 30 years: she began learning drum aged seven and soon after her prodigious talent, she was awarded a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music, where she would later be appointed professor. Her touring career has included working with such legends as Herbie Hancock and Al Jarreau, while her recording career includes two Grammy Award-winning – The Mosaic Project, a collaboration with a myriad of female jazz artists that scooped Best Jazz Vocal Album and her most recent release Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue, which one the 2013 Best Jazz Instrumental Album.

Regina Carter
Hailed by the music press as a virtuoso, Detroit-born Regina Carter is the leading jazz violinist of her generation. Trained as a classical violinist from age four, Carter played in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as a youth though it wasn’t until friend and jazz singer Carla Cook introduced her to the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Jean-Luc Ponty that Carter fell for jazz. In 2006, Carter was honored with a MacArthur Fellowship with the MacArthur Foundation describing her as ‘a master of improvisational jazz violin’ and praising her diverse repertoire of genres from Motown and bebop to folk and world music – evident in her 2014 release Southern Comfort, an exploration of Southern folk music.

To the full list click here